Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Thunder Road' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Brisbane International Film Festival is underway - click here for our reviews from their great line-up!x
review, Thunder Road, Thunder, Road, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Jim Cummings, Kendal Farr, Nican Robinson, Jocelyn Deboer, Macon Blair, Bill Wise, Jordan Ray Fox, Chelsea Edmundson, Jim Cummings, Comedy, Drama film rating

THUNDER ROAD

★★★★

A HEARTBREAKING RIDE

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Ashley Teresa
9th April 2019

Writing, acting and directing are aspects that contribute equally to a film’s success, but it takes a legitimate talent to succeed at all three at once. Jim Cummings, Hollywood’s latest triple threat, flexes his skills with his exceptional new film, ‘Thunder Road’.

Based on Cummings’ 2016 short film of the same name, ‘Thunder Road’ is a character study on down on his luck police officer Jim Arnaud, as he comes to terms with the passing of his mother and struggles to bond with his daughter Crystal (Kendal Farr, in her first role). In a stunning twelve-minute long take of his mother’s funeral that opens the film, everything the audience needs to know about Jim is revealed. His eulogy is full of nervous words, tears, apologies and a brimming anger at his mother’s passing. As he battles with a children’s stereo to play a song, the Bruce Springsteen song after which the film is titled, the shot acts as a metaphor for Jim’s life - a man with good intentions, trying his best but never quite succeeding, breaking down at the most inopportune moments (this happens repeatedly through the film). It is impossible not to sympathise and pity Jim in equal measure, dancing without music and facing ridicule as a funeral guest records the entire ordeal on their phone. The opinions of other people get to Jim quite easily; he questions his own intelligence, apologising for every second thing he says, as if he has to alter himself for others. It could have been very easy to paint Jim as a cynical, world-embittered man, but that is not who he is - he is prone to bursts of anger and he might talk before he thinks, but he knows deep down within himself he is a good person.

'THUNDER ROAD' TRAILER

Despite the bleakness of Jim’s predicament, what elevates ‘Thunder Road’ beyond your typical character study is the perfect balance it strikes between its drama and its more comedic moments, sometimes oscillating between both with perfect precision and timing. The fact that the lead character shares a name with its lead star is not a matter of vanity; Cummings is so in tune with the character, so in tune with the film's tone that it feels as though he has lived through these events himself. The smooth, simple cinematography puts the actors in control of the film, their performances acting as the true driving force, and the authenticity of the film’s protagonist lends itself very favourably towards winning the audience's sympathy. We want to see Jim get his life together, as rocky as that road may be.

The story at times suffers from narrative holes and jumps in logic; for example, one characters substance abuse issues are never even alluded to until they reach breaking point. Such issues with the script hold the audience at arm’s length, holding the film back from bolstering that deep personal connection it's going for (there’s the argument that these are the result of Jim being an unreliable protagonist, as we only see things from his perspective, but in the context of the film these plot holes don’t quite check out). It seems to not matter that some of the supporting cast are not stellar in their roles either; this is well and truly Jim Cummings’ film.

Jim Cummings is a phenomenal talent, both in front of the camera and behind.

‘Thunder Road’ does not push the envelope in terms of filmmaking, its simplistic choices merely acting as a blank canvas which Cummings can make explode with colour through his leading performance. Its compelling depiction of a hardworking man's downward spiral as he keeps it together doesn’t pull its punches, but still manages to be a heartfelt experience. Jim Cummings is a phenomenal talent, both in front of the camera and behind, and we should all be eagerly anticipating what he does next.

Click here to read our interview with ‘Thunder Road’ writer, director and star Jim Cummings.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 18/04/2019
CAST: Jim Cummings
Kendal Farr
Nican Robinson
Jocelyn Deboer
Macon Blair
Bill Wise
Jordan Ray Fox
Chelsea Edmundson
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jim Cummings
PRODUCERS: Natalie Metzger
Zack Parker
Benjamin Wiessner
www.ThunderRoadFeature.com
ThunderRoad2018
TheThunderRoadFilm
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Disney still have some magic left in them
TRENDINGMALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVILDisney still have some magic left in them
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Brisbane International Film Festival 2019 - The Reviews
TRENDINGBRISBANE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2019The Reviews
Midsommar: The Director's Cut - Ari Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
TRENDINGMIDSOMMAR: THE DIRECTOR'S CUTAri Aster elevates an already remarkable film to a masterpiece
Strange but True - All-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
TRENDINGSTRANGE BUT TRUEAll-star cast saves thriller from being a total misfire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire - A perfect film on the language of desire
TRENDINGPORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIREA perfect film on the language of desire
Matthias and Maxime - A magical film on the complexity of friendship and love
TRENDINGMATTHIAS AND MAXIMEA magical film on the complexity of friendship and love
Ladyworld - Experimental thriller not so thrilling
TRENDINGLADYWORLDExperimental thriller not so thrilling
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
School of Seduction - Husband hunting in Russia
TRENDINGSCHOOL OF SEDUCTIONHusband hunting in Russia
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Standing Up For Sunny - A comedy without the comedy but very sweet
TRENDINGSTANDING UP FOR SUNNYA comedy without the comedy but very sweet
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 Films Influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
La La Land - What to make of this musical dream?
TRENDINGLA LA LANDWhat to make of this musical dream?
Lion - A raw and powerful journey of identity
TRENDINGLIONA raw and powerful journey of identity
Judy - Zellweger goes for Oscar gold in mid-core biopic
TRENDINGJUDYZellweger goes for Oscar gold in mid-core biopic
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
TRENDINGLOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us